Poland’s farmers are set to receive US$410 million in financial support from the country’s Ministry of Agriculture to help cope with losses caused by the 2018 drought. Over 200,000 farms (3.5 million ha) were affected by the hot and dry conditions across most parts of the country between April and mid-June, with the drought continuing in some parts of the west well into September.
Poland’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Jan Krzysztof Ardanowski announced the subsidies of US$271 per ha for farmers who lost over 70% of their crop. Those experiencing losses between 30-70% will be eligible to receive up to US$135 per ha. In accordance with EU legislation, eligible farmers must prove that at least half of the land is insured, or face a 50% reduction in payouts. Farmers can apply for assistance under the programme from October 31st, 2018. Advanced direct-payments will be provided in order to help farmers buy seeds for next season’s planting.
Total losses due to the drought are estimated at over of US$1 billion. Some Polish farmers are also seeking loan repayment flexibility from banks, particularly low-interest loans for basic operating input like seeds, which would require farmers to pay 0.5% interest, with the rest covered by the government.